KEY POINTS

  • Apple has announced watchOS 7
  • The watchOS 7 will not have support for Force Touch
  • Apple Watches running on watchOS 7 will not have Force Touch anymore

Apple is telling developers to relocate hidden menu items that were once accessible via use of a long press gesture on the Apple Watch's display This is because the new watchOS version, watchOS 7, will no longer support the use of such a gesture anymore.

The long press gesture, popularly known as Force Touch, was used in Apple Watches before watchOS 7. This gesture allowed users to do certain things on their wearable, such as change watch faces or access things only accessible via a hidden menu.

Apple is dropping support for Force Touch on the Apple Watch once watchOS 7 arrives. This can be seen in the “Firm press and long press” section of Apple's Human Interface Guidelines for developers.

“In versions of watchOS before watchOS 7, people could press firmly on the display to do things like change the watch face or reveal a hidden menu called a Force Touch menu. In watchOS 7 and later, system apps make previously hidden menu items accessible in a related screen or a settings screen. If you formerly supported a long-press gesture to open a hidden menu, consider relocating the menu items elsewhere,” it reads.

Apple Insider noted that the change will affect all upcoming Apple Watches that will have watchOS 7 preinstalled. The change also affects older Apple Watches that will be updated to the latest operating system for the wearable. This means all models compatible with watchOS 7, namely the Series 3, Series 4 and Series 5 models, will lose Force Touch support when updated.

Those who are used to using Force Touch on their Apple Watches will need to get used to doing things another way, such as accessing common menu items in Settings or via the respective apps where they belong.

Standard actions

Apple also urged developers to refrain from redefining or changing the way standard gestures work so that users won't be confused when using their Apple Watches.

The tech giant explained that changing the way gestures and actions such as tapping, dragging, swiping and edge swiping works “adds complexity and can lead to confusion.” It appears that the company is looking to simplify the use of the Apple Watch, and make the user experience consistent across Apple's other devices.

Apple Watch leather straps These Apple Watch leather straps will give a style boost to any of your outfits. Photo: AFP / Johannes EISELE